Publications by authors named "Edenio Detmann"

51 Publications

Provision of a protein-rich supplement for grazing suckling female beef calves to improve productive performance and metabolic response.

Anim Biosci 2021 Oct 29. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Animal Science Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, 36570-900, Brazil.

Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of the provision of a protein-rich supplement on productive performance, and metabolic profile on grazing suckling female beef calves in tropical conditions during 150 d of experimentation.

Methods: Fifty-six Nellore suckling female calves, and their respective dams were distributed in a completely randomised design and made to undergo two treatments as follows: UNS (without supplementation), and SUP (supplementation with 5 g/kg body weight (BW) of a protein supplement). Throughout the experiment, animal performance and metabolic profile were evaluated. Also, ureagenesis and gluconeogenesis were assessed for gene expression.

Results: SUP female calves showed a higher voluntary intake (p≤0.03) of the diet components evaluated, digestibility of organic matter (OM; p≤0.02) and microbial nitrogen production (MICN; p≤0.02) compared to UNS female calves. In its turn, serum urea nitrogen (SUN; p≤0.01) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1; p≤0.03) levels and ureagenesis (p≤0.04) increased in SUP female calves compared to UNS female calves. Blood glucose and triglyceride levels were not affected by supplementation. The average daily gain (ADG) from SUP female calves was higher (p≤0.02) compared with UNS female calves. However, supplementation did not affect the body measures of the animals.

Conclusion: In summary, provision of a protein-rich supplement improves the intake and nutrients digestibility, ADG and final BW and increases metabolic indicators of the protein status in grazing suckling female beef calves in tropical conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0226DOI Listing
October 2021

Effects of parity order on performance, metabolic, and hormonal parameters of grazing beef cows during pre-calving and lactation periods.

BMC Vet Res 2021 Sep 25;17(1):311. Epub 2021 Sep 25.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Peter Henry Rolfs Avenue, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-900, Brazil.

Background: Metabolic profile evaluation is a tool widely used in ruminant nutrition as metabolic cues that relate nutrition to physiology. Metabolic and hormonal traits change during pre-partum and lactation according to parity in dairy cows, but studies of beef cows under grazing are scarce. The present study aimed to evaluate how metabolic and hormonal traits change over time, their relationship to performance, and determine if these factors differ according to the parity order of grazing beef cows. Thirty-six pregnant Nellore cows (12 nulliparous, 12 primiparous, and 12 multiparous) were used. The study started at 60 d prepartum until 203 d of lactation.

Results: The initial body weight (BW) and final BW were higher for multiparous cows (P > 0.05). An interaction occurred between parity and day (P < .0001) for body condition score. Nulliparous and primiparous body condition score were reduced from - 60 prepartum to 30 postpartum, then stabilized 60 postpartum (P < 0.05), while multiparous maintained body condition score from - 60 days until 60 days postpartum (P > 0.05). Calf BW, final BW, and average daily gain did not differ between parities (P > 0.05). Effect of day (P < 0.05) was detected for non-esterified fatty acids, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, progesterone, and insulin. An interaction was observed between parity and days for glucose, HDL, β-hydroxybutyrate, creatinine and IGF-1 (P < 0.05). Parity affected serum urea nitrogen, total proteins, albumin, and globulins (P < 0.05). Parity and day relative to calving did not impact total T3 and T4 (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Hormonal and metabolic profile is strongly influenced by the stage of lactation. Time effects (pre-partum and lactation period) were more pronounced in nulliparous since they displayed more unbalanced metabolic and hormonal traits and lowered BCS pre- and postpartum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-021-03019-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8467019PMC
September 2021

Assessing the relationship between the rumen microbiota and feed efficiency in Nellore steers.

J Anim Sci Biotechnol 2021 Jul 15;12(1):79. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, 36570-900, Brazil.

Background: Ruminants rely upon a complex community of microbes in their rumen to convert host-indigestible feed into nutrients. However, little is known about the association between the rumen microbiota and feed efficiency traits in Nellore (Bos indicus) cattle, a breed of major economic importance to the global beef market. Here, we compare the composition of the bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in the rumen of Nellore steers with high and low feed efficiency (FE) phenotypes, as measured by residual feed intake (RFI).

Results: The Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in positive-RFI steers (p-RFI, low feed efficiency) than in negative-RFI (n-RFI, high feed efficiency) steers. The differences in bacterial composition from steers with high and low FE were mainly associated with members of the families Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae and Christensenellaceae, as well as the genus Prevotella. Archaeal community richness was lower (P < 0.05) in p-RFI than in n-RFI steers and the genus Methanobrevibacter was either increased or exclusive of p-RFI steers. The fungal genus Buwchfawromyces was more abundant in the rumen solid fraction of n-RFI steers (P < 0.05) and a highly abundant OTU belonging to the genus Piromyces was also increased in the rumen microbiota of high-efficiency steers. However, analysis of rumen fermentation variables and functional predictions indicated similar metabolic outputs for the microbiota of distinct FE groups.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that differences in the ruminal microbiota of high and low FE Nellore steers comprise specific taxa from the bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities. Biomarker OTUs belonging to the genus Piromyces were identified in animals showing high feed efficiency, whereas among archaea, Methanobrevibacter was associated with steers classified as p-RFI. The identification of specific RFI-associated microorganisms in Nellore steers could guide further studies targeting the isolation and functional characterization of rumen microbes potentially important for the energy-harvesting efficiency of ruminants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40104-021-00599-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8281616PMC
July 2021

Estimating purine derivatives and nitrogen compound excretion using total urine collection or spot urine samples in grazing heifers.

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2021 Sep 11;105(5):861-873. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Departament of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil.

The study aimed to evaluate the excretion of purine derivatives (PDs) and nitrogen compounds (NCs) and their ratios with creatinine in supplemented Zebu heifers kept on pastures by comparing total urine collection and spot sampling. Five Nelore heifers (400 ± 15 kg) were used in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. The treatments were the amount of concentrate (220 g of crude protein/kg dry matter) offered (0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 g/kg BW). In each period, the total urine collection was performed continuously for 3 days (subsampled at intervals of 4 h, 00:00-04:00 h, 04:00-08:00 h, 08:00-12:00 h, 12:00-16:00 h, 16:00-20:00 h and 20:00-24:00 h). The spot urine samplings were performed (in each period) for 24 h (0, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 h). Creatinine, total urinary nitrogen (UN), urea nitrogen (UreaN), allantoin and uric acid were analysed. Creatinine excretion was 23.01 ± 0.19 mg/kg BW and was not affected by collection day, treatment or their interactions (p > 0.05). Treatments affected (p < 0.05) PD excretions, however did not affect the ratio PD:creatinine (p > 0.05). Treatments and collection time affected (p < 0.05) NC excretion, whereas the UN:creatinine and UreaN:creatinine ratios were not affected (p > 0.05). Creatinine excretion and the PD:creatinine ratios in the urine samples estimated by the total or spot sampling were not different (p > 0.05). However, sampling method affected (p < 0.05) the UN:creatinine and UreaN:creatinine (p < 0.05) ratios. Creatinine can adequately estimate urinary excretion in grazing heifers, and a single spot urine sample at any time of the day can be used to estimate PD excretion in grazing heifers. But two spot urine samples are needed for proper NC excretion estimations in grazing heifers' urine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpn.13525DOI Listing
September 2021

Nutritional performance and metabolic characteristics of cattle fed tropical forages with protein and starch supplementation.

An Acad Bras Cienc 2021 1;93(3):e20190487. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Departmento de Zootecnia, Avenida P.H. Rolfs, s/n°, 36570-900 Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

Effects of protein supplementation, with and without starch supplementation, on nutritional performance and metabolic characteristics of cattle fed low- and medium-quality tropical forages were evaluated using 4 cannulated steers distributed according to a 4 × 4 Latin square. Experimental periods were divided into two subperiods. In the first subperiod, two animals received low-quality hay and two animals received medium-quality. Supplementation schemes were evaluated in the second subperiod: low-quality hay with protein (300 g of crude protein - CP/d); low-quality hay with protein (300 g CP/d) and starch (225 g/d); medium-quality hay with protein (300 g CP/d); and medium-quality hay with protein (300 g CP/d) and starch (225 g/d) supplementation. Without supplementation, medium-quality forage provided higher intake, digestibility, nitrogen balance (NB) and efficiency of nitrogen utilization (EFNU). Comparing subperiods, supply of supplements depressed medium-quality forage intake, but did not affect low-quality forage intake. Supplementation increased NB, EFNU and serum concentration of IGF1 in animals fed low-quality forage. Protein supplementation increases nitrogen retention in animals, an effect attributed mainly to anabolic stimuli. However, this effect is more prominent when animals are fed low-quality forages. No positive impact on animal metabolism was obtained with combination of supplemental protein and starch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765202120190487DOI Listing
February 2021

Reconstituted and ensiled corn or sorghum grain: Impacts on dietary nitrogen fractions, intake, and digestion sites in young Nellore bulls.

PLoS One 2020 7;15(8):e0237381. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Two experiments were conducted: (1) to evaluate the effect of ensiling time and grain source on dietary nitrogen fractions; and (2) to verify the influence of concentrate level, processing method and grain source on intake, microbial efficiency, and digestibility by young Nellore bulls. In Experiment 1, corn and sorghum grains were milled, reconstituted to 35% moisture, and ensiled in a bag silo for 10 different times. There were three replications per ensiling time and grain source. Samples from each replication were analyzed in triplicate for total nitrogen (N), non-protein nitrogen (NPN), soluble N, insoluble N, and neutral detergent insoluble nitrogen (NDIN). In Experiment 2, five Nellore bulls were used in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. Four diets were comprised of 28.4% corn silage, 10.7% supplement, and 60.9% dry ground corn, dry ground sorghum, reconstituted and ensiled corn, or reconstituted and ensiled ground sorghum. An additional diet comprised of 45% corn silage, 10.7% supplement, and 44.3% dry ground corn (Roughage+) was used. Each experimental period lasted 22 days, with an adaptation period of 14 days followed by 5 days of total feces and urine collection and 3 days of collecting omasal samples. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS 9.4. The reconstitution and ensiling process reduced (P < 0.05) the insoluble N fraction, increased (P < 0.05) non-protein nitrogen of corn and sorghum grains, tended (P = 0.052) to increase microbial efficiency, and increased (P < 0.05) intestinal and total digestion of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), and starch. The concentrate level affected neither (P > 0.05) DM intake nor rumen pH. On the other hand, bulls fed diets based on 72% concentrate showed greater (P < 0.05) DM, OM, and CP digestibility compared with those fed a diet based on 55% concentrate. In addition, animals fed diets based on corn grains (both reconstituted and ensiled or dry) presented greater (P < 0.05) intestinal and total starch digestion compared to those fed sorghum grain. Therefore, the reconstitution process can reduce the insoluble N fraction and increase nutrient availability.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237381PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7413414PMC
October 2020

Urea supplementation in rumen and post-rumen for cattle fed a low-quality tropical forage.

Br J Nutr 2020 12 25;124(11):1166-1178. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Animal Science Department, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais36570-900, Brazil.

We evaluated the differences between the supplementation of urea in rumen and/or abomasum on forage digestion, N metabolism and urea kinetics in cattle fed a low-quality tropical forage. Five Nellore heifers were fitted with rumen and abomasum fistulas and assigned to a Latin square design. The treatments were control, continuous infusion of urea in the abomasum (AC), continuous infusion of urea in the rumen, a pulse dose of urea in the rumen every 12 h (PR) and a combination of PR and AC. The control exhibited the lowest (P < 0·10) faecal and urinary N losses, which were, overall, increased by supplementation. The highest urinary N losses (P < 0·10) were observed when urea was either totally or partially supplied as a ruminal pulse dose. The rumen N balance was negative for the control and when urea was totally supplied in the abomasum. The greatest microbial N production (P < 0·10) was obtained when urea was partially or totally supplied in the abomasum. Urea supplementation increased (P < 0·10) the amount of urea recycled to the gastrointestinal tract and the amount of urea-N returned to the ornithine cycle. The greatest (P < 0·10) amounts of urea-N used for anabolism were observed when urea was totally and continuously infused in the abomasum. The continuous abomasal infusion also resulted in the highest (P < 0·10) assimilation of microbial N from recycling. The continuous releasing of urea throughout day either in the rumen or abomasum is able to improve N accretion in the animal body, despite mechanism responsible for that being different.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114520002251DOI Listing
December 2020

Performance, metabolic and hormonal responses of grazing Nellore cows to an energy-protein supplementation during the pre-partum phase.

BMC Vet Res 2020 Apr 9;16(1):108. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-000, Brazil.

Background: Supplementation programs for prepartum beef cows are usually adopted because the nutritional status of the cows upon calving is a main factor impacting reproductive performance of the next production cycle. This study evaluated the effects of 60-d pre-partum energy-protein supplementation on performance, metabolic and hormonal responses during the peripartum phase of grazing beef cows. Thirty-eight pregnant multiparous Nellore cows were assigned to a completely randomized design with two treatments: control (no supplement) and supplementation (1.5 kg of energy-protein per d with 30% crude protein, dry matter basis).

Results: The supplemented cows had higher ADG pre-partum (P < 0.10), but postpartum ADG did not differ between treatments. Supplementation did not affect BCS and calf BW upon calving, on days 45 and 90, milk yield and composition (P > 0.10). No differences were found for forage intake and neutral detergent fiber digestibility (P > 0.10). The intake and digestibility of CP and OM increased in response to supplementation (P < 0.10). An interaction occurred between supplementation and peripartum days for BUN, βHB, T3 and T4, which had higher concentrations for supplemented cows at pre-partum period (P < 0.10). Concentration of others blood parameters significantly changed along peripartum days (P < 0.10). There was no difference in pregnancy rates and days from calving to conception between treatments (P > 0.10).

Conclusions: Providing an energy and protein supplement to grazing Nellore cows over the last 60 d of gestation improved their pre-partum energy balance. However, no post-partum carryover effects were detected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02309-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146873PMC
April 2020

Effects of energy-protein supplementation frequency on performance of primiparous grazing beef cows during pre and postpartum.

Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2020 Sep 25;33(9):1430-1443. Epub 2020 Feb 25.

Department of Animal Sciences, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG 36570-000, Brazil.

Objective: Twenty-four pregnant Nellore primiparous grazing cows were used to evaluate the effects of energy-protein supplementation and supplementation frequency during pre (105 d before calving) and postpartum (105 d after calving) on performance and metabolic characteristics.

Methods: Experimental treatments consisted of a control (no supplementation), daily supplementation (1.5 kg/d of concentrate/animal) and infrequent supplementation (4.5 kg of concentrate/animal every three days). During the pre and postpartum periods, concentrations of blood metabolites and animal performance were evaluated. Ureagenesis and energy metabolism markers were evaluated at prepartum period.

Results: Supplementation frequency did not alter (p>0.10) body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), and carcass traits during pre and postpartum. The BW (p = 0.079), adjusted BW at day of parturition (p = 0.078), and ADG (p = 0.074) were greater for supplemented cows during the prepartum. The body condition score (BCS; p = 0.251), and carcass traits (p>0.10) were not affected by supplementation during prepartum. On postpartum, supplementation did not affect animal performance and carcass traits (p>0.10). The dry mater intake was not affected (p>0.10) by supplementation and supplementation frequency throughout the experimental period. Daily supplemented animals had greater (p<0.001) glucose levels than animals supplemented every three days. Supplementation and supplementation frequency did not alter (p>0.10) the levels of blood metabolites, neither the abundance of ureagenesis nor energy metabolism markers.

Conclusion: In summary, our data show that the reduction of supplementation frequency does not cause negative impacts on performance and metabolic characteristics of primiparous grazing cows during the prepartum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0784DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468163PMC
September 2020

Nutritional strategies for heifers under grazing system: productive and nutritional performance, metabolic profile and ovarian activity.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2020 May 30;52(3):1013-1022. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Avenida P.H. Rolfs, s/n°, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, CEP 36570-000, Brazil.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of nutritional strategies on productive and nutritional performance, metabolic profile, and ovarian activity in heifers under grazing in the tropics in Brazil. Forty Nellore heifers averaging 8.5 ± 0.06 months and 248.6 ± 3.3 kg body weight (BW) were distributed in a completely randomized 2 × 2 factorial design with four treatments and ten replicates. The evaluated strategies consisted of different amounts of energetic-protein supplement: (1) 4 g/kg of BW of supplement in the pre-weaning and post-weaning; (2) 4 g/kg of BW of supplement pre-weaning and 6 g/kg in the post-weaning; (3) 6 g/kg of BW of supplement in the pre-weaning and 4 g/kg of BW in the post-weaning and; (4) 6 g/kg of BW of supplement in the pre-weaning and post-weaning. Crude protein (CP) and organic matter (OM) intake were increased (P < 0.05) by increasing the amounts of supplement in the post-weaning. Additionally, increasing supplement amounts in the post-weaning increased the digestibility of OM and CP (P < 0.05). Means insulin and glucose concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) for heifers that received higher amounts of supplement in the post-weaning. Average daily gain and fat thickness in the rump were increased (P < 0.05) by increasing supplement amounts in the post-weaning. Amounts of supplement did not influence the body growth of heifers. However, follicular number, diameter, and progesterone concentration were greater (P < 0.05) for heifers that received higher amounts of supplement in the post-weaning. In summary, increasing supplement amounts in the post-weaning improve the performance, energy and metabolic status, and ovarian activity in beef heifers under grazing in the tropics. Due to higher intake of supplement, the heifers receiving 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning had greater responses, independently of the supplement amount received pre-weaning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-02095-7DOI Listing
May 2020

A suitable enzymatic method for starch quantification in different organic matrices.

MethodsX 2019 4;6:2322-2328. Epub 2019 Oct 4.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-900, Brazil.

Starch can represent 70-80% of the cereals grains (on a dry matter basis) used for livestock feeding. Several methods have been developed to estimate the feed starch contents of energy feed sources. However, the efficiency of these methods to evaluate the starch content in other feed sources, as well as other types of samples used to evaluate starch availability in the gastrointestinal tract, such as digesta and faeces, remains unclear. Furthermore, most of the currently used starch analysis methods have not been effectively evaluated, being only applied to samples of sporadic experiments, without a wide-ranging validation of the procedures and results. Here, we propose a modification of a method for analysing the starch content in different organic matrices normally evaluated in ruminant nutrition studies. The evaluated organic matrices were: soybean meal, soybean hull, Tifton 85 Bermuda grass hay, abomasal digesta, and faeces. •The modified method is more feasible than the original procedures.•The modified method estimates the starch contents in different organic matrices with accuracy and precision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2019.09.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6812349PMC
October 2019

Supplementation strategies affect the feed intake and performance of grazing replacement heifers.

PLoS One 2019 16;14(9):e0221651. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

Animal Science Department, Viçosa Federal University, Av P.H.Rolfs, sn, Dep Zootecnia, Viçosa, Brazil.

The literature lacks studies investigating the performance of supplemented replacement heifers grazing on intensively managed warm-season pasture. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of supplement composition (energetic or protein) on the performance, muscle development, thermogenisis, nutrient intake, and digestibility of replacement Holstein heifers grazing Mombaça grass. Eighteen Holstein heifers with an average age and initial body weight (BW) of 12.57 ± 2.54 mo and 218.76 ±47.6 kg, respectively, were submitted to a randomized block design, with six replicates on a rotational grazing system of Panicum maximum cv. Mombaça pasture. Treatments were: control (CON; mineral salt ad libitum); energy supplement (ENE; corn meal as supplement, 8% CP and 3.78 Mcal/kg DE); and protein supplement (PRO; corn and soybean meal, 25% CP and 3.66 Mcal/kg DE). Supplements were individually fed at 0.5% BW. The experiment lasted 120 days, subdivided into three periods. Titanium dioxide and indigestible neutral detergent fiber (iNDF) were used to estimate the intakes and digestibility of the nutrients. BW, wither height, thoracic circumference, body length, and ultrasound of ribeye fat thickness measurements were taken once per period. Body condition score (BCS) was assessed twice during the experiment. The MIXED procedure of SAS, including period as a repeated measure, was used and significance was declared at P ≤ 0.05. Dry matter intake (DMI), CP intake (CPI) and DE intake were greater in heifers fed PRO compared to CON and ENE. Heifers supplemented with ENE had the lowest DMI. Treatment affected pasture intake/BW; it was similar between PRO and CON heifers, and lower for the ENE treatment. A treatment × period interaction was observed for NDF intake (%BW), in which heifers fed PRO and CON had the greatest NDF intake and ENE had the lowest. The digestibility of DM was the greatest in PRO-supplemented heifers and the lowest in CON heifers. Heifers fed ENE had decreased CP digestibility compared to PRO and CON heifers. Average daily gain (ADG) and thoracic circumference gain were greatest in the PRO treatment. BCS was greater in PRO compared to CON and ENE heifers. Supplementing Holstein heifers at 0.5% BW using PRO supplementation resulted in better animal performance, primarily greater ADG, than feeding ENE or not supplementing (CON). In conclusion, our results indicate that dairy heifers should be fed a protein supplement when grazing intensively managed Mombaça grass pasture.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221651PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6746373PMC
March 2020

The Bacterial and Fungal Microbiota of Nelore Steers Is Dynamic Across the Gastrointestinal Tract and Its Fecal-Associated Microbiota Is Correlated to Feed Efficiency.

Front Microbiol 2019 25;10:1263. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil.

The ruminant gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiome plays a major role in the health, physiology and production traits of the host. In this work, we characterized the bacterial and fungal microbiota of the rumen, small intestine (SI), cecum and feces of 27 Nelore steers using next-generation sequencing and evaluated biochemical parameters within the GIT segments. We found that only the bacterial microbiota clustered according to each GIT segment. Bacterial diversity and richness as well as volatile fatty acid concentration was lowest in the SI. Taxonomic grouping of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) revealed that (24.61 ± SD 6.58%) and (20.87 ± SD 4.22%) were the two most abundant taxa across the GIT. For the fungi, the family dominated in all GIT segments, with the genus being the most abundant. Twenty-eight bacterial and six fungal OTUs were shared across all GIT segments in at least 50% of the steers. We also evaluated if the fecal-associated microbiota of steers showing negative and positive residual feed intake (n-RFI and p-RFI, respectively) was associated with their feed efficiency phenotype. Diversity indices for both bacterial and fungal fecal microbiota did not vary between the two feed efficiency groups. Differences in the fecal bacterial composition between high and low feed efficiency steers were primarily assigned to OTUs belonging to the families and and to the genus . The fungal OTUs shared across the GIT did not vary between feed efficiency groups, but 7 and 3 OTUs were found only in steers with positive and negative RFI, respectively. These results provide further insights into the composition of the Nelore GIT microbiota, which could have implications for improving animal health and productivity. Our findings also reveal differences in fecal-associated bacterial OTUs between steers from different feed efficiency groups, suggesting that fecal sampling may represent a non-invasive strategy to link the bovine microbiota with productivity phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603086PMC
June 2019

Differentially expressed mRNAs, proteins and miRNAs associated to energy metabolism in skeletal muscle of beef cattle identified for low and high residual feed intake.

BMC Genomics 2019 Jun 17;20(1):501. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

Background: Feed efficiency is one of the most important parameters that affect beef production costs. The energy metabolism of skeletal muscle greatly contributes to variations in feed efficiency. However, information regarding differences in proteins involved in the energy metabolism of the skeletal muscle in beef cattle divergently identified for feed efficiency is scarce. In this study, we aimed to investigate energy metabolism of skeletal muscle of Nellore beef cattle, identified for low and high residual feed intake using a proteomics approach. We further assessed the expression of candidate microRNAs as a one of the possible mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of the proteins involved in energy metabolism that were differentially abundant between high and low residual feed intake animals.

Results: A greater abundance of 14-3-3 protein epsilon (P = 0.01) was observed in skeletal muscle of residual feed intake (RFI) high animals (RFI-High). Conversely, a greater abundance of Heat Shock Protein Beta 1 (P < 0.01) was observed in the skeletal muscle of RFI-Low cattle. A greater mRNA expression of YWHAE, which encodes the 14-3-3 protein epsilon, was also observed in the skeletal muscle of RFI-High animals (P = 0.01). A lower mRNA expression of HSPB1, which encodes the Heat Shock Protein Beta 1, was observed in the skeletal muscle of RFI-High animals (P = 0.01). The miR-665 was identified as a potential regulator of the 14-3-3 protein epsilon, and its expression was greater in RFI-Low animals (P < .001). A greater expression of miR-34a (P = 0.01) and miR-2899 (P < .001) was observed in the skeletal muscle of RFI-High animals, as both miRNAs were identified as potential regulators of HSPB1 expression.

Conclusion: Our results show that Nellore cattle divergently identified for feed efficiency by RFI present changes in the abundance of proteins involved in energy expenditure in skeletal muscle. Moreover, our data point towards that miR-665, miR34a and miR-2899 are likely involved in controlling both 14-3-3 epsilon and HSPB1 proteins identified as differentially abundant in the skeletal muscle of RFI-High and RFI-Low Nellore cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-019-5890-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6580615PMC
June 2019

Prediction of water intake to Bos indicus beef cattle raised under tropical conditions1.

J Anim Sci 2019 Mar;97(3):1364-1374

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Water is the most important nutrient in animal nutrition; however, water intake is rarely measured. The objective of this study was to determine whether previously published water intake (WI) equations for beef cattle would accurately predict WI from four experiments conducted under tropical conditions. The experiments were conducted from 2013 to 2015. Nellore (Bos indicus) growing bulls (Exps. 1, 2, and 3) and heifers (Exp. 4) were used in the feedlot trials. In all experiments, animals were fed for ad libitum DMI. The WI, animal performance, diet composition, and environmental data were collected. The prediction of WI using the current published WI equations was evaluated by regressing predicted and measured WI values. The regression was evaluated using the two-hypothesis test: H0: β0 = 0 and H0: β1 = 1 and Ha: not H0. If both null hypotheses were not rejected, it was concluded that the tested equation accurately estimated WI. To develop a WI prediction equation based on the input variables, a leave-one-out cross-validation method was proposed. The proposed equation was evaluated using similar methodology described above. All previously published eight equations overestimated WI of cattle used in the four experiments conducted in southeast Brazil. A possible explanation for the overestimate of WI is that previously published WI equations were generated from data collected from predominantly Bos taurus cattle raised under temperate climates. From the data collected from experiments conducted with Nellore cattle in southeast Brazil, the proposed equation (WI = 9.449 + 0.190 × MBW + 0.271 × TMAX -0.259 × HU + 0.489 × DMI, where the MBW is the metabolic BW (kg0.75), TMAX is the maximum temperature (°C), HU is the humidity (%) and DMI in kg/d), more accurately to predicts WI of cattle raised under tropical conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396249PMC
March 2019

Evaluation of buffer solutions and urea addition for estimating the in vitro digestibility of feeds.

J Anim Sci 2019 Feb;97(2):922-931

Departamento de Zootecnia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Campus Universitário, Viçosa, Minas Gerais 36570-900, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to compare the in vitro digestibility of dry matter (IVDMD) and neutral detergent fiber (IVNDFD) using 2 buffer solutions with or without urea addition. The study was comprised of 2 separate experiments. In both experiments, the treatments were composed of Kansas or McDougall's buffer solutions with or without urea addition, according to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. In Exp. I, the IVDMD and IVNDFD of 25 forages and 25 concentrates were evaluated. Samples were incubated for 48 h using an artificial fermenter and nonwoven textile filter bags (100 g/m2). In this experiment, the repeatability and discriminatory power among samples were calculated within forage or concentrate samples, for each treatment. In Exp. II, Tifton hay and ground corn samples were incubated for 48 h. The pH and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration were measured after 0, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 48 h of incubation. In Exp. I, the interaction between buffer solution and urea addition impacted the IVDMD and IVNDFD of forages (P < 0.05), with greater values being exhibited when using McDougall's buffer with urea (P < 0.05). For concentrates, the effect of buffer and urea interaction did not affect IVDMD and IVNDFD (P > 0.05). However, greater IVDMD and IVNDFD were observed for McDougall's buffer (P < 0.05), while urea addition increased IVDMD and IVFDFD estimates (P < 0.05) regardless of buffer solution used. In general, repeatability of the digestibility was better using McDougall's buffer and improved when urea was added. Urea addition also decreased the discriminatory power among samples for both buffers. In Exp. II, a buffer solution × urea addition × incubation time interaction was detected (P < 0.05) for pH and NH3-N in both Tifton hay and ground corn. Kansas buffer exhibited lower pH values with a greater decrease observed throughout incubation time when compared to McDougall's buffer. The use of Kansas buffer with urea addition was the only treatment exhibiting NH3-N accumulation throughout incubation. In conclusion, McDougall's buffer provides both better conditions for in vitro fiber digestion and greater precision in digestibility estimates, and is recommended over Kansas buffer. In spite of urea addition increases the precision of in vitro digestibility estimates, it decreases discriminatory power among samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358264PMC
February 2019

Effects of grain processing methods on the expression of genes involved in volatile fatty acid transport and pH regulation, and keratinization in rumen epithelium of beef cattle.

PLoS One 2018 14;13(6):e0198963. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the effects of corn and sorghum with different processing methods on the expression of genes involved in volatile fatty acids transport and pH regulation, and ruminal keratinization in rumen epithelium of finishing bulls. For Exp. 1, five rumen cannulated Nellore bulls were used in a 5x5 Latin square arrangement, with 14 d for adaptation and 9 d for sample collection. Treatments were: dry ground corn, dry ground sorghum, reconstituted corn, reconstituted sorghum, and control (forage-based diet). Samples of rumen epithelium from ventral sac were excised, rinsed, snap-frozen and stored at -80°C until total RNA isolation and quantitative real-time PCR analysis. In the Exp. 2, 24 Nellore bulls were assigned to a completely randomized design lasting 168 d. Experimental treatments were similar to those at Exp. 1, but without the control treatment. After the experimental period, bulls were slaughtered and rumen epithelium samples were rapidly excised for further histological analysis. Rumen epithelial tissue from animals fed reconstituted corn had lower expression of downregulated-in-adenoma (P = 0.03) and Na+/H+ exchanger 2 (trend; P = 0.09). The expression of Na+/ H+ exchanger 1 (P = 0.10) and putative anion transporter (P = 0.06) tended to be lower in rumen epithelium of bulls fed reconstituted grains. Ruminal concentration of valerate was greater for animals fed reconstituted grain (P = 0.01). Likewise, animals fed reconstituted corn tended to have greater butyrate ruminal concentration (P = 0.08). Keratinized layer thickness did not differ among treatments (P > 0.10). Therefore, reconstituted grains (especially corn) decrease the mRNA expression of genes involved in volatile fatty acids transport and pH control in the rumen epithelium.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0198963PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6002044PMC
December 2018

Energetic-protein supplementation in the last 60 days of gestation improves performance of beef cows grazing tropical pastures.

J Anim Sci Biotechnol 2017 1;8:78. Epub 2017 Oct 1.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais 36570-000 Brazil.

Background: Nutrition is one of the most important factors that affect animal performance, and it therefore also impacts on financial results in beef systems. In this way, finding the best strategy for feeding supplements is of paramount importance. Aiming to evaluate the effect of supplement feeding strategies for beef cows in the last third of gestation, two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, 35 pregnant Nellore cows were assigned to a completely randomized design with four treatments: control, which received no supplement; supplementation for the last 30 d of gestation (30-d; 3.0 kg/d); supplementation for the last 60 d of gestation (60-d; 1.5 kg/d); or supplementation for the last 90 d of gestation (90-d; 1.0 kg/d). All supplemented treatments received the same total amount of supplement throughout the experiment: 90 kg (20% of crude protein). A second experiment (Experiment 2) was delineated to evaluate the effects of the amounts offered in Experiment 1 on intake and metabolism. Four multiparous pregnant Nellore cows were assigned to a 4 × 4 Latin square design, with periods of 15 d each.

Results: There was a linear effect of the number of days of supplementation on calving body weight (BW;  < 0.05) and a quadratic effect on BW change from parturition to d 31 post-calving ( < 0.05), with cows on the 60-d strategy losing less BW post-calving. No difference was found in offspring birth BW ( > 0.10). A significant linear effect on interval from parturition to conception ( < 0.05) was observed, with the highest calving to conception interval being observed in the 90-d strategy. The level of supplementation did not affect forage intake or neutral detergent fiber digestibility ( > 0.10). Nitrogen excreted through urine tended to increase linearly with the level of supplementation ( < 0.10).

Conclusion: Providing 1.5 kg of supplement during the last 60 d of gestation improves cow performance after calving, reducing the magnitude of BW lost, and reduces the number of days from calving to re-conception in the following breeding season compared to the usually recommended period of supplementation of 90 d pre-partum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40104-017-0209-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5625619PMC
October 2017

Creep feeding effects on male Nellore calves influencing behavior and performance of their dams.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2017 Dec 17;49(8):1669-1676. Epub 2017 Aug 17.

Animal Science Department, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Avenida Peter Henry Rolfs, Viçosa, MG, CEP: 36570-900, Brazil.

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different schemes of calves' supplementation in a creep feeding system, on the behavior of Bos indicus calves and dams, and also the influence of the calves' supplementation on dams' performance. Forty-eight Nellore male calves (147 ± 7 kg body weight and 3 months of age) in the suckling phase and their dams (476 ± 9 kg and 6 years of age) were studied in a completely randomized design. The experiment was divided into two periods of 71 days. The treatments were 5- and 10-g supplement dry matter (DM)/kg BW day offered in periods 1 and 2, respectively (5S/10S); 10- and 5-g supplement DM/kg BW day offered in periods 1 and 2, respectively (10S/5S); 7.5-g supplement DM/kg BW day in both periods 1 and 2 (7.5S); and mineral mix ad libitum in both periods 1 and 2 (MM). No differences (P < 0.05) in body condition score (BCS), final body weight (FBW), and average daily gain (ADG) were found in dams' performance. Calves from MM treatment spent more time (P < 0.05) grazing than the supplemented calves from 5S/10S and 10S/5S treatments, in the first period. No difference in suckling time was found between the treatments (P > 0.05) in the first evaluated period. Calves from 10S/5S treatment spent more time suckling and less time eating supplements (P < 0.05) than 5S/10S treatment animals, in the second evaluated period. Dams of MM treatment's calves had more idle time and lower grazing time when compared with the mothers of calves from 5S/10S and 10S/5S treatments. It was concluded that different schedules of Nellore calves' supplementation on pasture do not affect their mothers' performance, and supplementation decreases the grazing time of calves in the suckling phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-017-1375-8DOI Listing
December 2017

Evaluation of methods for the quantification of ether extract contents in forage and cattle feces.

An Acad Bras Cienc 2017 Apr-Jun;89(2):1295-1303. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Universidade Federal Viçosa, Departamento de Zootecnia, Av. P.H. Rolfs, s/nº, 36570-900 Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

The objective of this study was to compare the estimates of ether extract (EE) contents obtained by the Randall method and by the high-temperature method of the American Oil Chemist's Society (AOCS; Am 5-04) in forages (n = 20) and cattle feces (n = 15). The EE contents were quantified by using the Randall extraction or AOCS method and XT4 filter bags or cartridges made of qualitative filter paper (80 g/m²) as containers for the samples. It was also evaluated the loss of particles, and concentration of residual chlorophyll after extraction and the recovery of protein and minerals in the material subjected to extraction. Significant interaction was observed between extraction method and material for EE contents. The EE estimates using the AOCS method were higher, mainly in forages. No loss of particles was observed with different containers. The chlorophyll contents in the residues of cattle feces were not affected by the extraction method; however, residual chlorophyll was lower using the AOCS method in forages. There was complete recovery of the protein and ash after extraction. The results suggest that AOCS method produces higher estimates of EE contents in forages and cattle feces, possibly by providing greater extraction of non-fatty EE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201720160708DOI Listing
March 2018

Performance, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive responses of Nellore heifers submitted to different supplementation levels pre- and post-weaning.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2017 Apr 11;49(4):707-715. Epub 2017 Feb 11.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-000, Brazil.

The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of high and low supplementation levels pre- and post-weaning on performance, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive responses of Nellore heifers. Fifty Nellore heifers with 132 ± 9.9 kg average body weight (BW) and 138 ± 19 days of age were supplemented from 4 to 14 months. The heifers were distributed into five supplementation plans: HH-6 g/kg of BW of supplement pre- and post-weaning, HL-6 g/kg of BW of supplement pre-weaning and 3 g/kg post-weaning, LH-3 g/kg of BW pre-weaning and 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning, LL-3 g/kg of BW pre- and post-weaning, and CC-control, no supplementation. Interactions were not significant (P > 0.10). The level of supplement fed pre-weaning did not affect any of the performance variables evaluated at the end of the experiment (P > 0.10). There was a significant effect of supplementation and level of supplementation fed post-weaning on average daily gain (ADG) and final BW (P < 0.05). Overall ADG was also affected only by supplementation and level of supplement fed post-weaning (P < 0.05) with animals receiving 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning gaining more weight. Follicular diameter was greater in animals that received 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning (P < 0.05). In summary, performance, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive variables evaluated in the current study were improved by the level of supplement fed post-weaning. Heifers receiving supplementation of 6 g/kg of BW post-weaning had greater responses, independent of the level received during the pre-weaning phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-017-1248-1DOI Listing
April 2017

Weight, body condition, milk production, and metabolism of Nellore cows when their calves are submitted to different supplementation levels.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2017 Feb 15;49(2):383-387. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-000, Brazil.

Creep feeding has been used to reduce calves' nutritional dependence on the cow, but research results under tropical conditions have not been conclusive about the effects on the cow. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of high and low supplementation levels for Nellore heifer calves on performance, milk production, and metabolic profile of their mothers. Fifty multiparous Nellore cows and their respective calves were used. The following treatments were evaluated: 0-control, no supplement was fed to calves; 3-calves received supplement in the amount of 3 g/kg of body weight (BW); 6-calves received supplement in the amount of 6 g/kg of BW. There was no significant effect of level of supplementation offered to offspring on cow BW, body condition score (BCS) and subcutaneous fat thickness (P > 0.05). Level of supplementation of heifer calves did not significantly affect milk production corrected to 4% of fat (P > 0.05). Fat, protein, lactose, and total solids of the milk also did not differ among supplementation strategies (P > 0.05). Level of supplement fed to calves had no effect on cows' glucose, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, total protein, and albumin levels (P > 0.05), but cows nursing calves that did not receive supplement had lower level of serum urea N (SUN; P < 0.05). We conclude that creep feeding in the amounts of 3 or 6 g/kg of BW daily has no major impact on dams' performance and metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-016-1204-5DOI Listing
February 2017

Intake, digestibility, and rumen and metabolic characteristics of cattle fed low-quality tropical forage and supplemented with nitrogen and different levels of starch.

Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2017 Jun 28;30(6):797-803. Epub 2016 Oct 28.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG 36570-000, Brazil.

Objective: Effects of nitrogen supplementation associated with different levels of starch on voluntary intake, digestibility, and rumen and metabolic characteristics of cattle fed low-quality tropical forage ( hay, 7.4% crude protein, CP) were evaluated using ruminal and abomasal cannulated steers.

Methods: Five European×Zebu young bulls (186 kg body weight, BW) were distributed according to a 5×5 Latin square. The following treatments were evaluated: control, supplementation with 300 g CP/d (0:1), supplementation with 300 g starch/d and 300 g CP/d (1:1), supplementation with 600 g starch/d and 300 g CP/d (2:1), and supplementation with 900 g starch/d and 300 g CP/d (3:1). A mixture of nitrogenous compounds provided 1/3 from true protein (casein) and 2/3 from non-protein nitrogen (mixture of urea and ammonium sulphate, 9:1) was used as the nitrogen supplement. In order to supply energy a unique source of corn starch was used.

Results: Supplements increased (p<0.05) dry matter intake, but did not affect (p>0.05) forage intake. There was a cubic effect (p<0.05) of starch on voluntary intake. This was attributed to the highest forage intake (g/kg BW) when using the 2:1 starch:CP ratio. Supplements increased (p<0.05) organic matter (OM) digestibility, but did not affect (p>0.05) neutral detergent fibre corrected for ash and protein (NDFap) digestibility. There was a positive linear effect (p<0.05) of the amount of starch supplemented on OM digestibility. Total NDFap digestibility was not affected (p>0.05) by the amount of supplemental starch. Ruminal ammonia nitrogen concentrations were higher (p<0.05) in supplemented animals, however, a negative linear effect (p<0.05) of amount of starch was observed. Supplements increased (p<0.05) the nitrogen balance (NB) and efficiency of nitrogen utilization. These effects were attributed to increased body anabolism, supported by higher (p<0.05) serum concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Increasing the amount of starch tended (p<0.06) to linearly increase the NB. In spite of this, there was a highest NB value for the 2:1 starch:CP ratio amongst the treatments with supplementation.

Conclusion: Nitrogen supplementation in cattle fed low-quality tropical forage increases nitrogen retention in the animal's body. An additional supply of starch increases nitrogen retention by increasing energy availability for both rumen and animal metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5713/ajas.16.0629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5411842PMC
June 2017

Does supplementation of beef calves by creep feeding systems influence milk production and body condition of the dams?

Trop Anim Health Prod 2016 Aug 19;48(6):1241-6. Epub 2016 May 19.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, 36570-900, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of beef calves' supplementation in creep feeding systems on milk yield, body weight (BW), and body condition score (BCS) of their dams on tropical pastures using a meta-analytical approach. The database was obtained from 11 experiments conducted between 2009 and 2014 in Brazil, totaling 485 observations (cows). The database consisted of 273 Nellore and 212 crossbred (7/8 Nellore × 1/8 Holstein) cows. All experiments were carried out in the suckling phase (from 3 to 8 months of age of calves) during the transition phase between rainy and dry seasons from February to June of different years. The data were analyzed by a meta-analytical approach using mixed models and taking into account random variation among experiments. Calves' supplementation (P ≥ 0.59) and the calves' sex (P ≥ 0.48) did not affect milk yield of cows. The average fat-corrected milk (FCM) yield was 6.71 and 6.83 kg/day for cows that had their calves supplemented and not supplemented, respectively. Differences were observed (P < 0.0001) for milk yield due to the genetic group where crossbred cows presented greater FCM yield (7.37 kg/day) compared with Nellore cows (6.17 kg/day). There was no effect of the calves' supplementation on BW change (P ≥ 0.11) and BCS change (P ≥ 0.23) of the cows. Therefore, it is concluded that supplementation of beef calves using creep feeding systems in tropical pastures does not affect milk yield, body weight, or body condition of their dams.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-016-1083-9DOI Listing
August 2016

Nutritional Performance of Cattle Grazing during Rainy Season with Nitrogen and Starch Supplementation.

Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2016 Aug 11;29(8):1120-8. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG CEP 36570-000, Brazil.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of supplementation with nitrogen and starch on the nutritional performance of grazing cattle during the rainy season. Five rumen cannulated Nellore steers, averaging 211 kg of body weight (BW), were used. Animals grazed on five signal grass paddocks. Five treatments were evaluated: control (forage only), ruminal supplementation with nitrogen at 1 g of crude protein (CP)/kg BW, ruminal supplementation with starch at 2.5 g/kg BW, supplementation with nitrogen (1 g CP/kg BW) and starch (2.5 g/kg BW), and supplementation with nitrogen (1 g CP/kg BW) and a mixture of corn starch and nitrogenous compounds (2.5 g/kg BW), thereby resulting in an energy part of the supplement with 150 g CP/kg of dry matter (DM). This last treatment was considered an additional treatment. The experiment was carried out according to a 5 ×5 Latin square design following a 2×2+1 factorial arrangement (with or without nitrogen, with or without starch, and the additional treatment). Nitrogen supplementation did not affect (p>0.10) forage intake. Starch supplementation increased (p<0.10) total intake but did not affect (p<0.10) forage intake. There was an interaction between nitrogen and starch (p<0.10) for organic matter digestibility. Organic matter digestibility was increased only by supplying starch and nitrogen together. Nitrogen balance (NB) was increased (p<0.10) by the nitrogen supplementation as well as by starch supplementation. Despite this, even though a significant interaction was not observed (p>0.10), NB obtained with nitrogen plus starch supplementation was greater than NB obtained with either nitrogen or starch exclusive supplementation. Supplementation with starch and nitrogen to beef cattle grazing during the rainy season can possibly improve digestion and nitrogen retention in the animal..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5713/ajas.15.0514DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4932565PMC
August 2016

Intake, digestibility and nitrogen utilization in cattle fed tropical forage and supplemented with protein in the rumen, abomasum, or both.

J Anim Sci Biotechnol 2016 19;7:11. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Av. P.H. Rolfs, s/n°, Viçosa, Minas Gerais 36570-900 Brazil.

Background: There is little information in the tropics with regard the comparative understanding of how an increased nitrogen supply in the rumen or in the intestines affects efficiency of nitrogen utilization in cattle. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation with nitrogenous compounds in the rumen, abomasum, or both on intake, digestibility and the characteristics of nitrogen utilization in cattle fed tropical forage. Four rumen- and abomasum-fistulated Nellore bulls (227 ± 11 kg) were used. Four treatments were evaluated: control, ruminal supplementation (230 g/d of supplemental protein in the rumen), abomasal supplementation (230 g/d of supplemental protein in the abomasum), and ruminal and abomasal supplementation (115 g/d protein in both the rumen and the abomasum). The basal forage diet consisted of Tifton 85 hay with a crude protein (CP) level of 78.4 g/kg dry matter. Casein was used as a supplement. The experiment was conducted using a 4 × 4 Latin square.

Results: There were no differences between the treatments (P > 0.10) with regard to forage intake. The intake and total digestibility of CP increased (P < 0.01) with supplementation. The nitrogen balance in the body increased (P < 0.01) and muscle protein mobilization decreased (P < 0.01) with supplementation, regardless of the supplementation site. The efficiency of nitrogen utilization did not differ among the treatments (P > 0.10).

Conclusions: The supplementation of cattle fed tropical forage with protein in the rumen, abomasum, or both similarly increased the nitrogen accretion in animal, which reflects improvements on nitrogen status in animal body.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40104-016-0069-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4761222PMC
February 2016

Nutritional and productive performance of dairy cows fed corn silage or sugarcane silage with or without additives.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2016 Apr 22;48(4):747-53. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Viçosa, 36570-900, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The objective of this study was to compare the intake, digestibility, and performance of dairy cows fed corn silage, fresh sugarcane, and sugarcane ensiled in three different forms. Twenty-five Holstein cows at 114 ± 12.6 days in milk (DIM) were used. A randomized block design was adopted, using an arrangement of repeated measures over time. The following treatments were tested: corn silage (CS); fresh sugarcane (FS); sugarcane silage without additives (SCS); sugarcane silage enriched with calcium oxide at 5 g/kg of forage (SCSc); and sugarcane silage enriched with Lactobacillus buchneri at 5 × 10(4) cfu/kg of forage (SCSb). The roughage to concentrate ratio was 60:40 for the CS diet and 40:60 for the sugarcane-based diets. The dry matter intake (DMI) as a function of body weight had a downward trend for the cows fed sugarcane silage, compared with those fed FS. The sugarcane silages had higher digestibilities of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and neutral detergent fiber (NDFap), compared with FS. The use of L. buchneri or calcium oxide improved the diet's digestibility. The use of FS, sugarcane silage, or sugarcane silage with additives had no effects on milk and fat-corrected milk yield, compared to corn silage. Cows fed FS presented lower milk total solids content and had a downward trend for milk fat, compared with cows fed sugarcane-silage diets. Cows fed sugarcane silages produced milk with higher casein stability in the alcohol test than cows fed fresh-sugarcane diet. Sugarcane silage, with or without additives, did not reduce the intake of dairy cows, and the use of additives improved the fiber's digestibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-016-1020-yDOI Listing
April 2016

Evaluation of Laboratory Procedures to Quantify the Neutral Detergent Fiber Content in Forage, Concentrate, and Ruminant Feces.

J AOAC Int 2015 Jul-Aug;98(4):883-9

Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Animal Science Department, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 36570-900.

A comparison was made of measurements of neutral detergent fiber concentrations obtained with AOAC Method 2002.04 and modified methods using pressurized environments or direct use of industrial heat-stable α-amylase in samples of forage (n=37), concentrate (n=30), and ruminant feces (n=39). The following method modifications were tested: AOAC Method 2002.04 with replacement of the reflux apparatus with an autoclave or Ankom(220®) extractor and F57 filter bags, and AOAC Method 2002.04 with replacement of the standardization procedures for α-amylase by a single addition of industrial α-amylase [250 μL of Termamyl 2X 240 Kilo Novo Units (KNU)-T/g] prior to heating the neutral detergent solution. For the feces and forage samples, the results obtained with the modified methods with an autoclave or modification of α-amylase use were similar to those obtained using AOAC Method 2002.04, but the use of the Ankom220 extractor resulted in overestimated values. For the concentrate samples, the modified methods using an autoclave or Ankom220 extractor resulted in positive systematic errors. However, the method using industrial α-amylase resulted in systematic error and slope bias despite that the obtained values were close to those obtained with AOAC Method 2002.04.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5740/jaoacint.14-156DOI Listing
September 2015

Effect of feeding strategies on weaning weight and milk production of Holstein × Zebu calves in dual purpose milk production systems.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2015 Aug 26;47(6):1095-100. Epub 2015 Apr 26.

Animal Science Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, 36570-000, Brazil,

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of five feeding strategies on calf weaning weight, and cow milk production and composition in Brazilian Holstein × Zebu cows. A total of 60 cows and their calves were allocated to each of five treatments. Cows in treatments 1, 2 and 3 were milked for 270 days and cows in treatments 4 and 5 were milked for 180 days. Calves in treatment 1 (CON) were not supplemented with concentrate whereas calves from treatment 2 (CLPN) received 1 kg of concentrate daily from 90 to 270 days of age and calves from treatment 3 received 1 kg of concentrated from 180 to 270 days of age. Calves in treatment 4 (CCPS) were supplemented with 1 kg of concentrate from 90 to 180 days of age and calves in treatment 5 (CLPS) were supplemented with 1 kg of concentrate from 90 to 270 days of age. Calves from the CLPS treatment had greater milk and protein intakes (P < 0.05) and greater growth rate than calves from the other treatments. Our results indicate that the traditional system of feeding calves with no concentrate results in a weight gain of 600 g/day. The CLPS treatment produced calves with the highest live weight and growth rate. The nutritional strategy with restricted supply of milk for the calves with concomitantly short-term concentrate supplementation does not improve performance of calves but did increase feed costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0832-5DOI Listing
August 2015
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